Metair, an international manufacturer, distributor and retailer of energy storage solutions and automotive components, wants to bet big on lithium-ion batteries and electric cars.
The South African-based firm announced on Friday it is planning to spend R4.4 billion (€300 million) to buy Tovarna Akumulatorskih Baterij (TAB), a manufacturer of batteries based in Mežica, Slovenia within the European Union.
The group is in exclusive talks with TAB.
The JSE-listed firm said the deal would enable it to become “a key player in the global energy storage solutions market”.
Currently, Metair owns, or has shareholding in battery production sites in the country, China, Germany, Romania and Turkey.
The TAB deal, if finalised, would enable Metair to fulfil its stated strategy of expanding its energy vertical with a targeted combined automotive battery production of 15 million units and industrial cell manufacturing of 2 million units per annum.
The company’s goal is to participate in the development of an electric vehicle (EV) energy source for at least one original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and this potential deal with TAB may make this a reality.
As part of its plans, the firm is also busy establishing a new research and development centre in Germany in partnership with Chaowei and MOLL, while looking forward to finalising the structure of our lithium-ion research and production division.
The deal with TAB is subject to a completion of a detailed full scope due diligence and negotiating the final terms of the potential transaction with the shareholders of TAB. It is also subject to Metair securing the required financial and shareholder support and approvals.
Metair expects the deal to be concluded during the final quarter of 2018.
The company has also entered into an exclusivity agreement with a black female owned empowerment partner to sell 30% direct shareholding in Metair’s Automotive Components vertical.
“In addition to increasing black ownership within Metair’s Automotive Components vertical, the successful conclusion of the potential BEE transaction is expected to provide the company with additional funds which may be applied towards the potential transaction,” the company informed investors on Friday.